Quickly: How to render a PDF to an image in C++?

Using Poppler, of course!
Poppler is a very useful tool for handling PDF, so I've discovered lately. Having tried both muPDF and ImageMagick's Magick++ and failed, Poppler stepped up to the challenge and paid off.

So here's a small example of how work the API (with OpenCV, naturally):

#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <sstream>
#include <opencv2/opencv.hpp>
#include <poppler-document.h>
#include <poppler-page.h>
#include <poppler-page-renderer.h>
#include <poppler-image.h>

using namespace cv;
using namespace std;
using namespace poppler;

Mat readPDFtoCV(const string& filename,int DPI) {
    document* mypdf = document::load_from_file(filename);
    if(mypdf == NULL) {
        cerr << "couldn't read pdf\n";
        return Mat();
    }
    cout << "pdf has " << mypdf->pages() << " pages\n";
    page* mypage = mypdf->create_page(0);

    page_renderer renderer;
    renderer.set_render_hint(page_renderer::text_antialiasing);
    image myimage = renderer.render_page(mypage,DPI,DPI);
    cout << "created image of  " << myimage.width() << "x"<< myimage.height() << "\n";

    Mat cvimg;
    if(myimage.format() == image::format_rgb24) {
        Mat(myimage.height(),myimage.width(),CV_8UC3,myimage.data()).copyTo(cvimg);
    } else if(myimage.format() == image::format_argb32) {
        Mat(myimage.height(),myimage.width(),CV_8UC4,myimage.data()).copyTo(cvimg);
    } else {
        cerr << "PDF format no good\n";
        return Mat();
    }
    return cvimg;
}

All you have to do is give it the DPI (say you want to render in 100 DPI) and a filename.
Keep in mind it only renders the first page, but getting the other pages is just as easy.

That's it, enjoy!
Roy.

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Apache Tapestry 5 Progress Bar with jQuery+Bootstrap [w/code]

Just sharing a code snippet about how to implement a jQuery+Bootstrap progress bar for a background operation in Tapestry 5. There's not a lot to it, but it took me a while and serious digging through the internet to find how to make it work. Essentially it's based on a couple of examples and references I found:

But I simplified things because I don't like the over-design Java can easily make you do...
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Using Hidden Markov Models for staff line removal (in OMR) [w/code]

So lately I'm into Optical Music Recognition (OMR), and a central part of that is doing staff line removal. That is when you get rid of the staff lines that obscure the musical symbols to make recognition much easier. There are a lot of ways to do it, but I'm going to share with you how I did it (fairly easily) with Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), which will also teach us a good lesson on this wonderfully useful approach.

OMR has been around for ages, and if you're interested in learning about it [Fornes 2014] and [Rebelo 2012] are good summary articles.
The matter of Staff Line Removal has occupied dozens of researchers for as long as OMR exists; [Dalitz 2008] give a good overview. Basically the goal is to remove the staff lines that obscure the musical symbols, so they would be easier to recognize.
Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 10.11.00 PM
But, the staff lines are connected to the symbols, so simply removing them will cut up the symbols and make them hardly recognizable.
So let's see how we could do this with HMMs.
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Touch up your sound with SoundTouch [w/code]

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.55.42 AM
So I needed to speed up / slow down an audio stream I had (speech generated with Flite TTS) and naively I thought it would suffice to simply sample it at the right intervals and interpolate.
I quickly discovered that just re-sampling won't do because changing frequency also changes pitch proportionally. And then I discovered the world of Time Scaling in audio and it's many algorithms and approaches to change the tempo without changing pitch.
To my surprise there were a number of ready made free libraries that do it, but the first one I tried - RubberBand - did not work out, it had too many dependencies I simply couldn't be bothered compiling it for the Mac. But SoundTouch, well it had a Homebrew formula so it won by default.
I wrote a little simple wrapper around it, that interfaces nicely with Qt.
Let's see what's going on there
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Simple ATTiny85 USB board

IMG_20140623_121908_fixI needed to create a small, cheap USB-enabled circuit to serve as a key logger, and I've found some nice projects online that explain how to do this.
I found out you could use an ATTiny85 to run the V-USB software USB stack, and I only needed the one input pin to gather data (it's going to be a USB "That was easy" button).
Since this was done so many times before, I will be brief, and try to point out problems I had instead of a regular tutorial.
Continue reading "Simple ATTiny85 USB board"

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